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Russia-Ukraine war and sanctions undermine Italian exports

The conflict in Ukraine and the sanctions on Russia will have a heavy impact on our country and on national companies. The greatest risk, as Confartigianato warns, is to see the serious economic consequences deriving from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict of 2014, with the Crimean crisis, repeated to an amplified extent.

The multi-year effect of the sanctions

The prolonged sanctions on Russia between 2013 and 2021 have caused Italian exports to Moscow to drop by 28.5%, for losses amounting to about 25 billion euros. These data justify the apprehension of the Italian industrial sector for the continuation of this situation.

The national framework

Italy is also in fourth place among the EU countries for the value of exports to Russian and Ukrainian markets. In 2021, our country sold products worth 9.8 billion euros to these two nations, of which 7.7 billion only to Russia.
Italian exports to Moscow mainly concern:

  • machinery and equipment (€ 2.1 billion in 2021),
  • fashion (1.3 billion),
  • chemical products (720 million),
  • food products (635 million).

The regions most exposed to this commercial partnership include: Emilia Romagna, Veneto, Marche, Piedmont, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Lombardy.


The economic data is therefore anything but comforting. In fact, these circumstances are compounded by the expulsion of Russia from the SWIFT system, the risk of default, the devaluation of the ruble and the severe restrictions on the transport of goods, with the closure of ports on the Black Sea.
And, more generally, what is worrying is the climate of mistrust that keeps entrepreneurial reality in check, after the two very complicated years of the pandemic.

Between prohibitions and restrictions

Returning to the subject of sanctions, it is highlighted that the prohibitions on the sale by European subjects to Russian subjects involve different product categories. In particular:

  • dual-use goods and technologies (products, including software and technologies, which can have both civil and military use),
  • assets that could contribute to military and technological enhancement,
  • tools and technologies suitable for use in oil refining,
  • goods and technologies suitable for use in aviation or in the space industry.

Uncertainty for measurement equipment

The framework thus outlined motivates the concern of the measuring instruments sector, directly involved in the package of limitations wanted by the EU. The lack of a general export ban also obliges companies to provide a control and screening system suitable for determining whether their products can be included in the list of prohibited goods.
The fear of running into violations and the current landscape of profound instability threaten to represent a further blow to the economic recovery of the entire nation.


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